So I’m the first to admit that this chapter is very confusing. There’s a lot of names and a lot of problems flying around, and it’s hard to follow. So I hope this recap helps you get your head around it a bit more:
So basically, Rehoboam is Solomon’s kid and he takes over the throne after his dad dies. The people come to Rehoboam, led by Jeroboam, and ask him to lighten some of the load that Solomon had put on them when he was king, with slavery and work and general hardship. But Rehoboam refuses, and the people don’t want him to lead them anymore, and they want Jeroboam to be their king instead.
So the kingdom splits into two: Israel, led by Jeroboam, and Judah, led by Rehoboam (consisting of the people left over after the rest of the people left him).
Both sides of the kingdoms were trying to beat each other, and have more things than the other. Jeroboam makes shrines and idols, so Rehoboam also makes shrines and alters, and temples, and makes prostitution legal…and there is just constant fighting and problems between the two kingdoms.
These 2 kings die, but the men that take over from them continue this same legacy of problems. It just continues and continues, with more evil being spread into each generation of these places. All of them are worse than the kings before them, and even when some try to go back to God, they are too intertwined with lives of evil and worship of other Gods.
Ahab, one of the most evil king had a wife called Jezebel. Together they spread worship of Baal throughout the whole of the land. They are both very aware that God will intervene through prophets. This is where Elijah comes in, which we read about in the next chapter, so stay tuned!
Although this is a short recap, there is still some things you can think about with this chapter for yourself.
Firstly, can you see how easy it is for someone, even Jeroboam who was appointed to king by God, to be pulled away from their relationship with Him by things of the world? Jealousy, greed and vain are so destructive – but are you letting things like that also pull you away from God?
Are there any feuds in your life that are multiplying and getting worse, when you have the ability to be the bigger person yourself? Is God prompting you to let go of something like this in your own heart?
We will see in the following chapters how God will bring these people back from these depths, and be faithful to them even when they didn’t deserve it. What ways has God been faithful to you when you didn’t deserve it?